Welcome to the 21 Day Challenge: October Edition Page!

Here you’ll find all the workouts, flows, recipes, and happiness practices that you receive in your emails all in one place. If for some reason you haven’t been receiving the emails email me at Elizabeth@WorkPlayTrain.com and I’ll hop on it. Keep up the amazing work, athletes!

 

Congrats, you amazing, wonderful, astounding human being. You have reached the end of your 21 Day Challenge. What that means: 

  • You committed to improving your health, mindspace, and connections with those around you and yourself. 

  • You pushed yourself in workouts, eating habits, and self-reflection. 

  • You have created new healthy habit that can last you a life time. 

  • You are a badass.

Today we are hitting up our re-tests and our benchmark workout one more time to see how our body feels and how far we've come. It's also time for our last set of measurements and last selfie to help visualize the change as well. 

I cannot express how proud I am of you and all your hard work. Now get after this last workout and show yourself what your'e made of!

 

Happiness Practice: Self Reflection 

Sit your fit booty down and take five minutes to recognize the amazing work and dedication you've put in over the last three weeks. How does your body feel? How does your mind feel? How is your energy level throughout the day and your sleeping patterns at night? What was the hardest part and where was a point where you suprised yourself? You really did something amazing and should be so proud of all your work. 

Recipe: Breakfast Cupcakes 

The BakerMama is bringing you this healthier swap for cupcakes! Feel free to change out the blueberries for cranberries for a more in-season option or add something unique and share it with us!  


Holy smokes, how is it Day 20 already?! We are all getting after 30 second intervals today of some of our favorite moves and then moving into full 1:00 intervals for our core focused set. You've got this. 

If/When the burn gets to be too much, then stop for two breathes and then hop right back in. And remember to always scale where your body tells you. The stronger you execute a scaled movement the faster you'll be ready to get after the listed movement. Plus you'll move closer to your goals that way. 

Ah! I'm so excited for all! Enjoy!!

 

Happiness Practice: Actively Social

Over the next couple days make it a point do something active with the family or friends. This doesn't have to be a workout, but more along the lines of taking out the bikes for a casual ride around town, having a familiy dance off, or playing living room ninja warrior. Just cover all the corners to tables and the like. 

Recipe: Balsamic Chicken and Tomatoes 

Super straight forward recipe from Culinary Hill for a perfect dinner into next day leftover recipe. Add a couple extra serving so however many you have to feed and then divide up for the rest of the weeks lunches. Saving time, saving money, staying healthy. 


Day 19/21

out a little section of ground and get your stretch on. Day 19's yoga is quick and focused help get your mind and body aligned to start or end your day. After this we're into our final two workouts of the challenge. How is it almost over?! 

Keep it up!


Happiness Practice: Counting Down


Consciously practice the Count Down in times of patience needed. Start at ten and slowing work your way back to one. Giving yourself an extra moment of reflection and simply time before you react to something allows you see the moment, comment, action you're about to react to a little bit clearer and closer to what it really is.

Also great for waiting for the light to turn green.  

Recipe: Creamy Cashew Black Bean Mushroom Enchiladas


These two powerhouses are both registered dietitians and have a gorgeous site full of healthy recipes and ways to stay on top of your healthy eating goals. Enjoy this delicious Creamy Cashew Black Bean Mushroom Enchiladas recipe and have a look around. 


Day 18/21

Time to get your run/swim/hike/jog/bike/row/ski on today. Commit to the full listed time below and make it you're own. You can run/walk, bike/row/swim, do non-stop burpees. Make the choice and then make it happen. 

Because it's the final stretch things are a little different than the first two weeks. Friday we have our Yoga that will count as our only recovery this week, then Saturday will be a full workout, and Sunday will be retesting! You've got this.

*New Spotify List for your CYOA*

 

Happiness Practice: 10 Minutes of You


This is your weekly reminder to carve out time for yourself. Even 10 minutes a day. Finding time to refocus the mind and remind yourself that you matter is essential to being there for others and putting your best foot forward. Turn off the screens and use the ten minutes to get into something you care about (for yourself).

Recipe: Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad


Epicurious is a haven of recipes. Here's a wonderful Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad, but I highly recommend adventuring out into all their categories and see what you can find! (CYOA Recipe Style!)


Day 17/21

Into a triple set of Cycles today! I want you to push hard through these sets and really try and get through as many times as you can while maintaining strong form. You have worked your butt off (well, more like butt on #squatbooty) and can make today your best workout yet. The finish line is so close!!

All videos will be linked later tonight straight to the October Membership page, so pop on over and log in to follow along tomorrow! (Your email is your user name.)

You are amazing and I'm so proud of you. Keep it up!

 

Happiness Practice: Make the Call.


Call up someone you've been meaning to. Don't think about it. Be like Nike and Just Do It. Too often we push things that really matter off and only realize after we've finally done it or after it's too late how easy it is and how wonderful it makes us feel. So, pick up the phone and make the call or the FaceTime or the Google Hang - just do it. 

Recipe: Because I had to wear two pairs of pants for the run part today!


More soup on the menu today. Seriously, it's such an easy meal to prepare in bulk and then spread out over the course of the week. Having the fridge stocked with healthy, prepared options makes grabbing something good for you after work or a long day so much easier. Check out this Sweet Potato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup from Gena at the Full Helping! 


Day 16/21

We have a CYOA sandwich today. Warm-up and then attack your workout with intensity! Try to push yourself a little bit harder during each round today and see what you're capable of. You've rocked a full two weeks of workouts and are ready to step it up. You've got this!

Reminder: Check back in with your water intake! Fill up that water bottle and keep it close. 

Instagram Winner!Heather Bobula for her amazing healthy meal pic. Heather, I will email you for your address to send your HydroFlask!

 

Happiness Practice: Goal Check!


Last check-in on your goal progression from the first week. Where were the strong steps forward? Were there any stumbling points? What are small, managable shifts you can make in the coming week to continue strengthening your commitment to your passion and moving forward with intent? You've got this!

Recipe: So Many Things I Love.


Start your morning off with a delicious Coconut Coffee Shake from the adorable family at Green Kitchen Stories. This drink is loaded with a bunch of bonus nutrients and a great way to spice up your morning routine.   


Day 15/21

Welcome to the burner. We're going core focused today with this lovely little workout. Scale where appropriate and remember to continually check in while you're going through the movement. Example: Use the whole body in plank - squeeze the abs, but also engage the glutes and the quads and make sure you're actively pressing up through the shoulders. No lazy sections of the body!

I can't believe we're in to the last week of the Challenge. You are doing phenomenally and should be so pumped for your progress!

Heads Up: This week's yoga will be on Friday due to final retests on Day 21. 

 

Happiness Practice: Social Media Break


Continuing our mini-breaks from screen time, we're taking it to the social networks today. Delete your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (Ha! The acronym is FIT.) apps from your phone for 24 hours. This is an awesome practice because it quickly shows you how often we mindlessly engage with them on a daily basis. The first time I deleted them I was slightly freaked (totally freaked) out at how often I caught myself going to open them. 

At the end of the 24 hours check in on how the mind feels. Most people report to feel less anxious and more present even after that short amount of time. 

Recipe: Fall has all the best recipes. 


Sometimes we need that little something sweet. Check out this Raw Caramel Apple Nachos recipe from Nutrition Stripped to make that sweet tooth moment something a bit healthier and still absolutely delicious. Plus, it's all things fall so you know it's good. 


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Day 14/21

Time for another Rest Day! Today's mission is to use the hard work you've been putting in for something fun. Head out and play a pick up game of baseball, go for a hike, explore a new part of the city. Get creative and get out there. 

What good is stepping up your health if you can't use it for fun?! Alright, yeah there's that whole live longer, happier, more relaxed bit. But also, the fun! #ActiveRecovery 

Click here for the Measurements Videohere for the Welcome Pack, or here for the Spotify jams


Happiness Practice: All together now

Our happiness practice is in line with our training today. Get out and have fun with the body. To bring it together with the mind, really try and pull yourself into the moment. Acknowledge where you are, who you're with or your moment of self, and why you chose this activity. 

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad

Cheers to it being October weather! Lentils make my whole body happy especially when they're paired with sweet potatoes and 50 degree weather. Life is good. Warm up with this quick recipe and feel the joy of fall settling in. 


Day 13/21

It's Day 13 and that means another CYOA is on the docket. Hike, run, swim, bike, row... just get out and move for the listed time below. As always, scale where you need and make the workout your own. Enjoy a run/walk hybrid or create your own mini triathlon. CYOAs are all about making sure we get after our cardio-based activity while having fun and spicing up the routine. 

Brand new Spotify List to get you pumped! Rock on. 

Click here for the Measurements Videohere for the Welcome Pack, or here for the Spotify jams

 

Happiness Practice: Sit your booty down and let it be.


We're back to our meditation today! Fun fact: Did you know that meditation helps your body build new brain cells? Meditating is one of the five big ways you can help protect your brain and make it stronger both in the moment and long-term. Oh, science. You're a delight.

Find a nice quiet section of the house, your office, or your car , sit down, and set your timer for two minutes longer than last time. (Or a minimum of 5 minutes today.) Place your hands on your knees or in your lap and let your mind focus in on your breathing. Inhale for one, exhale for one. Inhale for two, exhale for two... and so on until you reach ten, then start over. #strongermind #strongerheart

Recipe: Slow-Cooked Kale Omelettes


First off, my dish never ends up this fancy. But good Mama do I love a perfectly cooked omelette, especially when it involes some delicious greens. Check out Sprouted Kitchen's gorgeous recipe to make your weekend. 


Day 12/21

We're adding two more rounds to each set today. Why? First, because you're stronger and more capable than you were last week. Second, because you can handle it and are on your way to being a Friday Fitness master. Third, well.... it's good for your body and it's what training calls for. (Evil grin.) 

Take a couple minutes after each set of six rounds before getting into the next pair of movements.

Two more days of training until recovery, so get after it!

 

Happiness Practice: All the skills.

Time for another piece of paper, a pen, and the timer! Tee up three minutes on the clock, hit go, and write out everything you're good at. It doesn't have to be anything crazy, but simple things that you've nail down in life. Example, I'm very good at making sure the coffee pot is prepped the night before so that there's a fresh pot ready in the morning. (It can also be big things too.)


When you're done, take a minute to reflect on everything you've written down. Sure it might seem goofy to be happy about how good you are at making sure the java is ready, but its about recognizing the actions you take to better your life and the lives around you even in the simplest ways. 
Bonus Points: If you notice something that someone else does really well, then let them know.

Recipe: Another small batch warning!

Triple Almond Energy Balls for the dangerous win. If you tend to feel a bitnauseous after working out or get the 2 pm slump during the day these are a great solution. Again... so good I'd recommend small batches. 


Day 11/21

I hope you had a great Check-In day and were able to see your amazing progress on both paper and, more importantly, in the way you feel. We have another Yoga Day on tap for tomorrow, so dive into the linked flow (super quick and getting after those warriors) or into your favorite local class. 

Remember: Recovery is neccessary on a multitude of levels. We are of stronger mind, body, and hearts when we commit, so get to it!

November Challenge is happening! I love hearing feedback, ideas, ect on what would make your experience even better. Take this survey on your current experience so I can keep upgrading the Challenges to come.

 

Happiness Practice: Cut out television for 24 hours. 

Disconnect from the television, iTunes, netflix, hulu and all the other television-esk apps and devices for 24 Hours and refocus that time into reading a book or getting after a project or goal you've been wanting to. Don't get me wrong, I love a good show, but reminding ourselves that our time should be dished out with thoughtfulness and intention is key to accomplishing everything we secretly have our hearts set on. You can do it :)

Recipe: Chia Seed Pudding


I am obsessed with this stuff, but only let myself make it in small quantities because otherwise I eat the entire bowl in 12 minutes. Here's a straightforward recipe with a couple variations to keep you mixing it up from WellnessMama.com.


Day 10/21

Benchmark Day! We are bringing it back to Day 01 today to check in on our progress. Start by taking your second round of measurements today and then it's back to our Push-up and Squat Test, followed by Day 01 workout. Make sure to check in on how your body and mind feel during the workout. Does it feel easier than the first time through? Are you able to push yourself harder? 

You're putting in killer work and should be so proud of everything you've accomplished so far.

Now get to work. 

 

Happiness Practice: Bring It Back

Check in on your goal list from last week. Have you been able to take any of your actionable steps toward building the habits to get you there? If not, no worries! Take this time to go back over the roadmap and figure out how to adjust it to really make sure you are getting done even a tiny bit each day. 

If so, amazing! Take the time today to assess how to ensure you keep doing the great work and having enough time in your day moving forward to keep moving toward your the finish line. 

Recipe: Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Brought to you by Lorena over at Green Healthy Cooking. This one is great to make a double batch of and pack up for the office for the rest of the week. Fresh and filling with a whole bunch of delicious veggies mixed in. Yes, please. 


Day 09/21

We're weaving together our cardio-based movements and bodyweight rounds together again. Like last week, the cardio activity is up to you - run, swim, bike, row, jump rope, etc. - then get into your rounds with speed and darn good form.

Check out the new Spotify List: 2000s curated by Ms. Grace McCoy.

And don’t forget out Contest for Week Two will go until this Saturday. Snap a pic of you getting after your workout, healthy eating, or Happiness Practices and tag @WorkPlayTrain for your chance to win your very own HydroFlask!



Happiness Practice: 5 Minute Meditation

Set a timer for five minutes and find a comfortable spot on the ground or in a nice, hardbacked chair. Place your hands on your knees or in your lap and let your eyes gently close. Focus in on your breathing and let everything else fade away. When thoughts come in acknowledge that they're there and then let them go on their merry way. Commit to the full five minutes see how different the mind feels after!

Recipe: Soup Season, Soup Season!

I adore Cauliflower soup. First, it's a thousand times better than it sounds. Second, it's packed with nutition and is a perfect pack up and bring to work the next day meal. Check out this recipe for a kicked up version from A Couple Cooks.


Day 08/21

I hope you are feeling nice and rested after our Recovery Day and ready to take on Week Two. Take a moment tonight (or this morning) to be proud of the work you've put in and excited for the work to come. You are creating amazing habits... and not to mention stronger, more capable muscular, skeletal, respitory, and -well- almost every body system there is. Keep. It. Up. 

Contest Announcement! Tag @WorkPlayTrain in a picture of you getting after your Workouts, Happiness Practice, or healthy eating on instagram or send it over in an emailfor your chance to win a HydroFlask water bottle. Winner will be announced at the end of Week Two!

 

Happiness Practice: Three Deep Breaths 

It doesn't take much to take a mental step back from the moment, but it does take practice. Today's Happiness Practice is to stop three times throughout the day and take three, deep breaths. Make them slow and deliberate while pulling the air all the way into your lungs. This will result in your stomach pressing out and then as you exhale (still slow) pulling back in. 

By drawing the attention to the breath, you are slowing both the mind and heart which will result in feeling more relaxed, focused, and centered. 

Recipe: What a Chicken

If you're an internet foodie, then you've most likely heard of the blog Paleo Nom Nom. If you haven't, then here you go! She has a plethora of delicious recipes like this little chicken diamond.You can also check out her app or cookbooks for more!


Day 07/21: And Break!

Time to relax! You are officially a third of the way done and those muscles deserve a day of well-earned recovery. 

Of course, that doesn't mean skimp out on everything. Still keep rocking the healthy eating and delving into the day's Happiness Practice. Take an extra moment too to check-in on how your body and mind feel after completely Week One. Sore, tired, stronger, more centered, like a total badass? (I can confirm you are the last one.)

Making a point to self-check will help you stay more connected to both your mind and body and help you recognize when you are heading in the right direction or when you might need to adjust something in your routine. 

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Happiness Practice: Do the Opposite

If you are a non-stop, social butterfly, then hit pause and take 30 minutes of alone time without a screen. You can go for a walk, meditate, read, draw, cook, whatever you please. Just let yourself be with yourself. 

If you are a I'm-good-right-here homebody, then it's time to venture into the realm of interactions (also without screens involved). I'm not talkin' go out to a rave or anthing, but call up a friend and go enjoy a cup coffee for 30 minutes or check out a local museum together. Strengthen your self-made community. 

Either way, enjoy your Sunday and recognize the good a little bit outside your comfort zone. 

Recipe: Banana Pancakes

These are some of my favorite healthy treats. I use a touch of all-spice while whipping them up, but they are really good just as is as well. The Kitchn gives an awesome guide here - it's really that simple: 2 ingredients (well, kinda three for the butter or oil to line the pan), 1 pan. Enjoy!


Day 06/21

Whoa, you are amazing! Finishing out Week One is a workout away. A third of the challenge done - boom! - just like that. You should be very proud of the work you're putting in, the dedication you've shown, and the sweat you've given. 
Day 06 is a straight CYOA (Choose Your Own Adventure), so pick your poison and head out for your level's listed time. You can run, swim, bike, row, cross-country ski, surf, jump rope... the choice is your's. Get out and have a blast!

New Spotify list curated by the hilarious and wonderful folk's over at Parents Time Out for when you need to plug in the headphones and let off some steam. Perfect for a little theraputic CYOA, if we do say so. 

Click here for the Measurements Videohere for the Welcome Pack, or here for the Spotify jams


Happiness Practice: Give Yourself Ten


Take ten minutes today to do something you truly love to do. It can be reading a chapter of that book you've been meaning to pick up off your nightstand, calling your friend who now lives six states away, sitting at the coffee shop to people watch, or whatever. Make a point to carve out a little time to get into something you love. Your mind and heart will thank you for it. 

Recipe: Trying to bring on the Fall


Here in Chicago, we're not too sure if this week will be 70 degrees or 20 or a hapazard mixture of both (most likely), but I'm going to put it out there that I'm ready for a full-on autumn climate. That being said, here's a Vegan Pumpkin Bean Chili from our girl over at Wholefully.com. Bring on the leaves and boots!


Day 05/21

I hope you had a wonderful time stretching it out yesterday (or today) and were able to take a moment to focus in on the moment. Day 5 is now upon us and that means it's time to get our interval on.
Today is a short, but intense one! I want you pushing hardduring the :20 of movement. After each set of four rounds take around two minutes to recover and then get back to it. As always, scale where appropriate. Whoohoo, let's do this!
Click here for the Measurements Videohere for the Welcome Pack, or here for the Spotify jams!

 

Happiness Practice: Gratitude Points

At then end of the day, take out a small peice of paper and a pen and jot down five people, places, things, or ideas that you were gratiful for today. When you're done, place the paper in a box, jar, or folder. Start to jot down these little lists whenever the mood strikes and add them to your collection. Then when you need a little pick-me-up reach in and read through. The more we create a habit of recognizeing these wonderful moments, people, places throughout our day, the more connected we feel and quicker we are able to recognize the small, daily goodness all around us. 

Recipe: Any Excuse for a Taco

You've most likely seen this book around over the last year, but check out the amazing blog where it all started. I don't know anyone who doesn't love tacos and an excuse to work it into the morning routine is perfection to me! Love and Lemons is keeping well supplied with reasons. 


Day 04/21

Today is all about hitting the mat to stretch out the muscles you've been putting to fabulous use and letting the mind find its center. All levels welcome to this flow. You'll need a towel, water, and a yoga mat or a space of ground to move around in.

Yoga and working the muscles in a focused manner is crucial to seeing results that last! Let’s get our Om on, loves!


Recipe: Black Bean Beauty Burgers

I love My New Roots and all the amazing recipes she provides. Check this Black Bean Beauty Burger out for an awesome meatless choice when firing up the grill. #MeatlessThursday?!

Happiness Practice: Say it out loud.

Most of us have a wide variety of thoughts throughout the day and some of them are very kind, but for some reason we keep them to ourselves. Today make it a point to say one of those kind relizations out loud to someone or to yourself. The more love you spread, the more love there is out for the world to pick up. (And the world could use a little more love right now.)


Day 03/21

Way to get after it, athlete! For Day 03 we going after the burn. There are breaks woven in to make sure the body has a chance to reset, but when you're in the movements I want you to be going hard! (Of course take mini resets when the burn becomes too much. Rest, take two breathes, then get back to it.)
Remember: Scale where you need to. You will get stronger, faster, and see better results if you complete the movements with quality form instead of just trying to focus only on speed. 

Click here for the Measurements Videohere for the Welcome Pack, or here for the Spotify jams!


Happiness Practice: 5 Minute Check-in

Get out another peice of paper and pen, set your timer for three minutes, and divide the page into three sections. At the top of on write "Physical", on the top of the second write "Mental", and the top of the third write "Emotional". Hit go. 
Spend those three minutes reflecting on goals you are going after or want to go after in each of those catagories. Write down as many as you'd like in each column. Once the timer runs through, go down your columns and pick the top two in each. 
Flip the paper, hit two minutes on the timer, and spend the time working out actionable sets for just one of those top goals. Then tape that paper somewhere you'll see everyday and get after it. Sometimes all we need is a little time to help remember what is important to us and realize we have the power to make it happen. 

Recipe: Burnout Bowl

Yes, please! Nutrition Stripped has us covered with this bowl of joy. When will Amazon and Apple come out the a joint venture that let's you just reach into your screen and pull out food. Just kidding, this is proabably much closer than we think and I regret wanting it. 


Day 02/21

Hello, hello! For our workout tomorrow, we have a back and forth where we weave in straight cardio movements in with sets of body weight and weighted movements (depending on which level). These have been some of our past participants favorite set-ups, so I hope you enjoy! 

CYOA: Choose Your Own Adventure. This means you can run, bike, swim, row, jump rope, hoola hoop, or do a mountain climber/jumping jack free-for-all for the listed time. This allows all participants to adjust if they have any injuries or are preparing for a race (run, bike, ect.). 

Cycle: Go through the listed exercises as many times as you can before the timer runs out. Remember it's about speed, but rock strong form through the whole set. 

Click on the workout to make it larger and feel free to download it to your phone to do on your own or click the link to the video. Don't forget to check out the playlists for some musical accompaniment. Make it happen!

*Backpack Front Squats and Thrusters can be executed with any weighted object at home - including children. (Trust me, they love it.) If the weight is too much, switch out for Jumping Air Squats or Regular Air Squats.

Click here for the Measurements Video or Welcome Packet & Spotify links.



Recipe: Acai Bowl Heaven

I used to hate smoothies, then someone tricked me by giving one in a bowl and I was all like, "Feed me this everyday, please." Here's a beaut from the Food Network. You can always freeze peeled bananas overnight and swap the acai and raw banana for two frozen bananas. (Acai can get expensive.)

Happiness Practice: Drop a note!

Go 8th grade style today and drop a friend or family member a little note just to say hi, share a joke, or to remind them how cool they are. If you don't have anyone nearby, drop it in an envelope and ship it off to someone - guarentee you'll make their day. 


Day 01/21

Good evening, rockstar! I'm so excited to start tomorrow. Here is your first set of Workouts, Happines Practice, and link to one of my favorite recipes. As promised, there are follow along videos for all three of the home workouts. Simply click the link in the caption of the level you want and it will zap you over. 
I've also created some Spotify playlists you can rock out to while getting your fitness on! Click here to start the jam session.

Click here for the Measurements Video or here to re-download the Welcome Packet.



Happiness Practice: One Minute Gratitude


Take out a piece of paper and a pen, set a timer on your phone or computer for one minute, hit go and write out everything in your life you are grateful for. It can be everything from "my family", "my job", "my friends" to "the way the woman smiled at my on the bus", "the fact that they're coming out with a Murphy Brown reboot", "that the color teal exists"... anything and everything! Try to keep your pen moving for the entire minute and refrain from judging what pops into your head. Just write it down, acknowledge that it's something that you appreciate, and move on to the next. 

Once you're done, take a moment to look over all of the people, places, things, and ideas you've listed. We often forget to acknowledge all the small, strange, and unique bit of our existance that make our lives so wonderful. Taking just a minute a day can help our minds recognize the good faster as it's actually happening. Whoohoo. 

Recipe: Blueberry Apricot Super Salad


Check out this delight from the amazing Green Kitchen Stories! Feel free to swap the apricots out of apples to give it a bit of a fall touch!